ALN_31_Boxscore

The Calgary Flames were on a quick road trip to visit the Minnesota Wild in Saint Paul on Tuesday. The Flames were the more dominant team the entire game, out-chancing the Wild at every turn, but were unable to capitalize on a number of high danger opportunities. Calgary eventually dropped the contest in the fifth round of a shootout, losing 2-1. Mike Smith stopped 21 of 22 shots he faced during regulation, but allowed two in the shootout. Devan Dubnyk was replaced by Alex Stalock after the first period, after stopping all ten shots he faced, due to an LBI. Stalock stopped 16 of 17 shots during the final two frames, and denied all the Flames shooters besides a Johnny Gaudreau masterpiece. The loss pushed the Flames out of a wildcard spot for the moment, but they were able to pick up a point in their fourth straight game, which is a season high.

Statistical Breakdown

Team Stats

All Situations 5v5 SVA 5v5
CF  58.7%  58.4% 58.5%
SCF  53.2%  53.6% 54.8%
HDCF  58.3%  60.0% 63.2%

5v5 Player Stats

  • The Flames didn’t have a single player below a 50% CF% at 5v5.
  • Curtis Lazar, Matt Stajan, and Troy Brouwer led the team in CF% among forwards, at 73.7%, 73.7%, and 63.2% respectively.
  • The fourth line also led the team in OZS, starting in the offensive zone more than 66.7% of the time.
  • Matt Cullen led the Wild in CF% for the game at 56.3%. He was one of only three players to post a positive possession rating.
  • Nate Prosser had a rough outing, posting a 28% CF% at 5v5, with only 16.7% OZS.
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick

Player of the Game

Last night’s POTG is going to the lone goal scorer: Micheal Ferland. With an absolute howitzer of a shot last night, he gave the team some life after such little luck was going their way. Had it not been for a crossbar, he easily would have had the GWG last night. This season has been a revelation for Ferland, as he is currently on a 32G pace. If he can continue to score, and maybe even assist more often, he will cement himself as the teams’ top RW.

Thoughts on the Game

John: Due to internet connectivity problems, I was unable to watch large chunks of last night’s contest. Though the parts that I was able to witness were extremely satisfying. The Flames were 100% the better team last night, and have been during their last four games. This one yet again just slipped away from them near the end, but not due to a lack of effort. If there is one image to sum up last night’s game, for those that didn’t watch, it would be this:

SPORTS

Calgary dominated the Wild all night, never losing the possession battle. It’s a shame that the Flames didn’t have the score to back up their effort, but in all honestly I’m not the slightest bit discouraged by the end result. If the team is playing strong possession based hockey, getting the majority of chances, and giving themselves a chance to earn two points you can’t be that upset. The Flames are playing some of their smartest hockey as of late, and the numbers back this up.

Of course you can nitpick and say “Sean Monahan needs to score in overtime”, but he has 17G on the season with six being game winners. For each goal that should have gone in this season, there is a goal that shouldn’t have. Matthew Tkachuk can’t score on all of his shootout opportunities, eventually he will be stopped. Every aspect of the Flames performance will never operate at 100% every game, but they can be close.

Everyone can be upset that we missed out on the extra point last night, but would you prefer to have these situations occur now or during April?

Moving Forward

What needs to be fixed? The Powerplay. Yet Again.

Fix the record already. It’s not even threatening for the Flames to have the man advantage anymore. Last night the Flames had a combined two shots on three PP opportunities. It is beyond frustrating to keep focusing on Brouwer’s inclusion and poor overall execution night in and night out. As Ari Yanover mentioned in FlamesNation’s Post Game Embers, the lack of Dougie Hamilton also has become an increasingly concerning issue. This is an aspect of their game that needs to be solved soon and right now there are too many problems to point out. Since Kris Versteeg went down, the Flames have gone 3/29 on the PP, which ranks them 26th in the league since that point. This could be the catalyst they need to establish themselves as a legitimate contender.

What needs to continue? The Same Play. 

Calgary has been playing amazing hockey lately, they just simply have not had good luck. It is great to see that they have at least acquired the loser point in the last few games to justify their quality of play. The wins will come, it will just take time. Sure you can be frustrated that they missed some chances, but you cannot be upset with how they have been executing lately. It is a trend in the right direction.

Next Game

ALN_31_NextGame

Calgary returns home to face the San Jose Sharks in another key divisional match-up. This is the first time that these two teams have met this season, as the Flames previous California road-trip missed their stop. Both teams are tied with 35P, but the Sharks now have two games in hand. If Calgary expects to jump up the standings, it’s games like these that matter the most. Plus, there is free Tim Horton’s being sold at the Saddledome!

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